Farmer’s markets may stop accepting payments through SNAP benefits

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WWAY) — At certain farmer’s markets around the country, people have been able to pay with SNAP cards, also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. But markets may have to start turning away one group of customers soon.

“I think that would be unfortunate. It’s something that I wouldn’t want to change. I would want to be able to offer a great product to everyone that could come get it, so I would hate to see that change,” said Jodie Hawthorne, the co-owner of Great Harvest Bread Company.

Customers at farmer’s markets around the country have been able to use SNAP cards to buy quality foods. But Tuesday, Novo Dia Group, one of the biggest companies that provides the equipment to process snap payments, is closing its doors.

If farmer’s markets want to continue to accept SNAP payments, they will have to buy special equipment, which can cost more than $1,000.

“At a peak time, to lose some people that can’t buy your product anymore would definitely hurt,” said Hawthorne.

Hawthorne sets up at the Wilmington Riverfront Farmer’s Market with her husband every weekend. She says this change comes right in the middle of peak season for business owners and it will hurt them tremendously. Hawthorne wishes the Riverfront Farmer’s Market could accept SNAP cards.

“We are really proud of providing a wholesome, made from scratch, whole ingredient product. I think that should be available to everyone who wants to be able to come use it. So if someone could use SNAP benefits, I would be more than happy to take them if I was able to.”

Instead of taking this opportunity away from people, she wants to see it spread to farmer’s markets everywhere.

Categories: Local, New Hanover